- The Washington Times - Monday, June 17, 2019

The Pentagon announced Monday night it’s deploying another 1,000 troops to the Middle East to counter an increasingly emboldened Iran.

In a statement, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said he authorized the move “for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East.”

“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Mr. Shanahan said.

“The United States does not seek conflict with Iran,” he continued. “The action today is being taken to ensure the safety and welfare of our military personnel working throughout the region and to protect our national interests. We will continue to monitor the situation diligently and make adjustments to force levels as necessary given intelligence reporting and credible threats.”

The U.S. last month sent an additional 1,500 troops, along with an aircraft carrier and bombers, to the region after reports that Iranian-backed groups were threatening American forces in Iraq.

Monday’s announcement came just hours after Tehran said it would increase its enriched uranium stockpiles to levels above those allowed by the multinational Obama-era nuclear agreement.

The U.S. also has accused Iran of being behind a string of oil tanker bombings in the region.

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